Chris Lewis, the VP of interactive entertainment business at Microsoft, recently compared Natal to technology you would see in movies that take place in the future. The specific quote was “We’ve all seen similar things in films set in the future.” He’s absolutely right. Natal boasts fancy technology and an impressive “wow” factor, but is at heart impractical and not needed.
Here’s a couple examples of future movie tech that Natal reminds me of.
Demolition Man’s Graffiti Countermeasure System
To hell with washing graffiti off the old fashioned way, let’s install a system of metal rods that shoot out from the wall and clean that shit off with electricity. For those that have seen the movie, do you remember what happens if you get too close to the wall when it does its thing? That’s right, it kills you dead.
The Fifth Element’s Police Patrol Magic Peephole
In The Fifth Element, the police use a special device that can see through doors at the inhabitants inside, which they use for routine questioning. Is it cool looking? Yep. Is it more practical than having them just open the door? Negative. Smoke you, Microsoft.
I’m not completely close-minded when it comes to Natal. It might be cool. They might show some games at E3 that have me drooling at the mouth for the unit. But the way they promote it as a “solution” to the game controller is way off base. The traditional controller does not ruin immersion, bad games do. And if all Natal is is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist, then count me out.